December 18 2016

Our Ancestors

Our spiritual ancestors lived dedicated Orthodox Christian lives, willing even at times to sacrifice everything they had for the truth of God. Our physical ancestors made sacrifices too, many coming from far off lands with just a few dollars in their pocket, so that we could have a better life. The better life our ancestors sought was not only about houses and cars. The better life they sought included building a Church at the center of our life.

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December 11 2016

We Have been Invited to Heaven

In the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14.16.24) our Lord compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a great banquet to which we have all been invited. As in the parable many of us make excuses as to why we or our family cannot attend. As servants we are commanded to go out and invite others who have also been invited so that God’s House is filled. We don’t know when God will call us to Heaven, but we must be prepared to answer the call without excuses and enter into Heaven with our Lord. No more excuses. We have been given another opportunity to answer the call without excuses. Through the life of the Church we can be prepared to enter into Heaven. No more excuses. We can still be loyal and faithful servants.

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December 5 2016

There’s Always Time for Cranberry Sauce

When Jesus healed a woman on the Sabbath, those who were watching complained because He “worked” on the Sabbath. They had forgotten there was an actual purpose for the Sabbath. In the same way, many of us look at the Church rules as just rules to follow. We spend so much time worrying about following the rules; we forget that the rules have an actual benefit for our lives. The weeks leading up to Christmas present a great opportunity to refocus our attention on what really matters.  If only we could trust the Church enough to understand the meaning behind the rules, we could arrive at the Feast of Christmas with peace rather than a panic about making sure everything is in order for the dinner. There’s always time for cranberry sauce. This year, let’s get our soul ready for Christmas.

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November 20 2016

Every Good and Perfect Gift is from Above

It is tempting to think that our success has everything to do with our hard work. It is even more tempting to think that the fruit of our success are meant for our pleasure. Neither is true. In fact no matter what our vocation, whether we are fishermen or farmers, our only part in our success is a bit of hard work. Everything else is a gift from God and that gift has a purpose. When we were married the priest asked God to bless us so that we could help others. Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to thank God for the blessings He has given to us by reaching out and helping other this year.

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November 6 2016

Learning from Each Other

Learning from Each Other

“I grow old always being taught.” This ancient Greek saying expresses a truth about life that leads to heaven. It is only in a relationship that we can be taught and learn from each other. With the Church as our mother and teacher we learn to live together in humility, faith, patience and love waiting for God’s blessings. It is together that we experience joy and sorrow, anxiety and peace. We won’t always get what we want, when we want, how we want it, but through humility, patience and love as expressed by Jairus and the woman with the flow of blood in the Gospel, we learn to give glory to God.

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October 23 2016

We All Have Demons

When we hear about demon possession in the Holy Scriptures many of us don’t consider that we have anything to benefit. Many of us either do not believe in demons, or we accept that we aren’t ourselves possessed by demons. The truth is, we all have demons that take control over our life. Our demons may not be the spiritual demons that we read about in the Holy Scriptures, but we all have struggles that control us with no less power to cripple our lives. The Good News is that God is able and willing to heal us from our demons, no matter what that demon may be, and we can be freed from the struggle to follow Him and be a witness of the great things God has done for us. 

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October 16 2016

Working Our Soul for Good Seed

When it comes to our soul many of us live as if everything we learned in Sunday School was enough to get us through the daily struggles of life. Some even leaven their soul unattended, or worse allow bad seed to make its way in. As the Lord explains in the Parable of the Sower, our soul is at times hard, rocky, filled with weeds, or even rich fertile soil, but it doesn’t happen by itself. It requires work to improve the condition of our soul to receive the Word of God, and it requires work to maintain a healthy soul. Luck for us we have the Church and the way of life of Orthodox Christianity to work our soul to prepare it for the Good Seed, the Word of God.

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October 2 2016

The Road to Heaven

Sometimes we just need a bit of a reminder that, even though life has its challenges, the hope of the Gospel isn’t about this life. The hope of the Gospel is in the life that God has planned for us, living with Him in heaven. Saint Paul knew this. He knew the true struggle of every Christian especially in a world that at the time was much less tolerant of Christians that today’s world. Eve depended on her understanding of the benefit of eating the apple rather than on God, and we know what happened to Eve? Saint Paul is trying to remind us, “The transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.” The Church, through the entire life it presents to us, is trying to help us depend upon God rather than ourselves, and that takes endurance. It won’t be easy. That much we know, but it is worth the struggle.

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September 25 2016

Beyond Our Comfort Zone

Every now and then there comes a time in our life when God calls us to reach out of our comfort zone and trust that He knows our abilities and has our best interest in His mind. At those moments, it doesn’t do us any benefit to look back at our failures but ahead to God’s glory and promise for a blessed future. Too often our fears and lack of confidence take control and we refuse to trust that God indeed knows what He is doing.

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September 19 2016

Where is the Denial?

Jesus Christ invites every human being to follow Him to heaven with the challenge to “deny himself, take up his cross and follow.” Ever since Adam and Eve in the Garden, we have struggled with following our own will or the will of God. But if we desire to follow Christ to heaven, the first thing we must do is deny ourselves. Problem is.....most of us don’t do well with the denial part of following Christ.

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